Opinion | Court nomination has me scared for my life’s future

With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the rights of every queer person in the U.S. are at risk.

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Peyton Downing, Opinions Columnist


I am afraid.

I am afraid for myself. I am afraid for my friends. And most importantly, I am afraid for every last member of the queer community.

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died. In her wake, she left a trail of decisions that has protected the rights of LGBTQ folk.

It is no exaggeration to say that without the late Justice Ginsburg, America’s laws would not look the way they do for a multitude of people.

Now, however, we are faced with a presidential administration that seems intent on destroying equality and protections for minorities, with a conservative Supreme Court that will let it run rampant.

To those of you who will claim that President Trump is pro-LGBTQ, I present all of the following:

The Trump administration reversed the Obama-era decision of Title VII protections for transgender people, claiming that it does not cover gender identity.

Freedoms and rights are not inherent, intrinsic things. Out in nature, they are not manifest in any given object or material. They are fought for, believed in, and brought into being by people who wish to make them.”

Trump’s decision to tweet out a ban of all transgender people in the military, despite the fact that prior and subsequent reports showed that transgender individuals have absolutely zero complications that would make them stand out from a cisgender individual.

The administration’s proposal to allow adoption services to discriminate against homosexual couples.

These are but few of the vast number of ways in which the sitting executive branch is aggressively seeking to erode the hard-won rights of our most vulnerable citizens.

It is not just the executive branch either — the Republicans in the House and Senate are just as, if not more so hostile to LGBTQ people.

You don’t have to look further than the current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a man whose voting records on LGBTQ issues makes it clear that he wants no gay marriages in his Christian, white nation.

There are also more Republicans presently running for office that stand to gain from attacking LGBTQ rights. Candidates who have voted against bans on conversion therapy, backing from anti-LGBTQ groups, running ads targeting opponent’s sexual orientation, and more.

Now Republicans are aiming to fill the judiciary with anti-LGBTQ judges up to the Supreme Court.

Freedoms and rights are not inherent, intrinsic things. Out in nature, they are not manifest in any given object or material. They are fought for, believed in, and brought into being by people who wish to make them.

Republicans will not fight for these freedoms. They will not fight for the right of LGBTQ people to live as themselves and be authentic, to seek their best lives openly.

They have proven time and time again, through anti-trans bathroom bills, targetted platforms against LGBTQ rights, and more, that they are unwilling to protect all citizens of the United States of America.

The Supreme Court is one of the last bastions of defense for rights. Where Brown v. Board of Education was decided and segregation was, at least on the books, made illegal. Where Aimee Stephens won the right to be openly transgender in your workplace.

With Justice Ginsburg’s passing, that bastion may be falling.

I don’t know who you are. I don’t care who you are. Just know that if you vote red this coming election, then you vote against every single non-cis and non-straight person in this country.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


 

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